Howard Schultz calls on Starbucks to focus on 'coffee-forward innovation' and store 'experience'

“The go-to-market strategy needs to be overhauled and elevated with coffee-forward innovation,” former CEO Schultz says as Starbucks sales struggle

Published: May 6, 2024 2:24pm

Updated: May 6, 2024 2:38pm

Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz recommends that the company's senior leaders focus on coffee drinks and the "customer experience" inside stores as the coffee-giant's sales dip.

“I have emphasized that the company’s fix needs to begin at home: U.S. operations are the primary reason for the company’s fall from grace,” Schultz wrote in a LinkedIn post over the weekend. “The stores require a maniacal focus on the customer experience, through the eyes of a merchant. The answer does not lie in data, but in the stores.”

Schultz called on Starbucks to put more a focus on "coffee-forward" innovation.

"Senior leaders—including board members—need to spend more time with those who wear the green apron. One of their first actions should be to reinvent the mobile ordering and payment platform—which Starbucks pioneered—to once again make it the uplifting experience it was designed to be," he wrote.

“The go-to-market strategy needs to be overhauled and elevated with coffee-forward innovation that inspires partners, and creates differentiation in the marketplace, reinforcing the company’s premium position,” he added.

The Seattle coffee giant has reported that its revenue dropped 2% in the January-March timeframe. The Associated Press noted that it was the "first time since 2020 that the company saw a drop in quarterly revenue."

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